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A more difinitive statement?


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Hello all:

 

I'm in Ohio and I answered a complaint with the answers below and I got back a "decision" by the judge to uphold my 'request for a more difinitive statement' (I think that's what it said).  The judge is giving the plaintiff 14 days to ammend their complaint or else he may dismiss the case.

 

I'm not familiar with this kind of action and I've answered several other complaints in the past with the same format and affirmative defenses.  What does this mean?  Also, any thoughts on why the judge took my answer as a request for more difinitive statement?

 

Here are my affirmative defenses from my answer:

 

1. The court lacks jurisdiction due to the presence of a binding arbitration clause in the cardmember agreement.

 

2. Plaintiff has failed to provide evidence sufficient for which relief can be granted.
 

3. Plaintiff Lacks Standing. Plaintiff has not proven ownership of the alleged account which is the subject of the Complaint and, therefore, has not proven standing to initiate legal action.


4. The Plaintiff has failed to mitigate its damages.

5. Plaintiff has failed to support its claim with account documents as required by Rule 10(D)(1) of the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure.

 

6. Plaintiff has failed to show that it has complied with the Ohio law on assignment of debts (Ohio RC 1319.12 © (3)).

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A more definitive statement basically means that the complaint is so vague that it is unclear what they are suing for and on what grounds so they have to "try again". 

 

I would guess these statements:

 

 

2. Plaintiff has failed to provide evidence sufficient for which relief can be granted.

 

5. Plaintiff has failed to support its claim with account documents as required by Rule 10(D)(1) of the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure.

6. Plaintiff has failed to show that it has complied with the Ohio law on assignment of debts (Ohio RC 1319.12 © (3)).

 
are what did it. Typically you have to motion for a more definitive statement. It sounds like you've got a good judge. Good for you!
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Ah.  Cool.

 

I'm wondering, if the plaintiff doesn't respond with the updated complaint, do I need to file a motion to dismiss?

 

I would have one ready. It sounds like the judge will dismiss on his own if the plaintiff does not amend the complaint, though.

 

That being said, I would also start working on an answer to the complaint on the chance that they do comply in the 14 days.

 

Good luck.

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The 10(D)(1) invoked the more definitive statement.

This is normally filed before an answer. You basically say in a motion, "I can't answer this suit because the required information is not attached." The judge cut you a big break by giving this to you. There is noting else you need to do. The case cannot move forward unless they amend the claim. And then you are still only at the answer stage at that point.

I ticked an OC attorney off by filing a More Definitive Statement before my answer. It set the pace for the rest of the case and the settlement that took place before JAMS arbitration commenced. I showed that I was an expensive target. Ohio law does not allow them to collect attorney's fees from consumers even if the consumer loses.

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Hmmm, the judge did that, just from you filing your answer, and you didn't even have to file a motion?  Looks like you have a good judge.

 

Just sit it out and see what the plaintiff does.

 

Yes, it does help when you show you are an expensive target.  Debt collection lawyers don't work for free, and in Ohio you don't have to pay their fees if you lose.

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Debt collection lawyers don't work for free, and in Ohio you don't have to pay their fees if you lose.

 

Good point.

 

Most collection attorneys work on contingency, meaning they only get paid if they collect from you. Even so, make sure the amount sought in the complaint doesn't have hidden fees of any type in the so-called "principal amount." If you have good reason to believe it does, you may have an FDCPA claim under 1692f(1).

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